So, it happened. Last night, both the US electoral college and the US population decided they wanted to keep our democrat president, Barack Obama, at the helm for another four years. Leading up to election day, the polls had citizens split—47% were pro-Obama and 47% were pro-Romney. Which meant no matter what happened, a bunch of people—nearly half our country—were going to be disappointed.
Now listen, kittens.
We need to be nice to each other. The people that oppose your particular brand of views are not stupid or evil or ignorant. They just have a different perspective. And that’s okay. In fact, having differing views is what makes the US great. It is GOOD for us to have some push back on our ideas so we can inspect them from a different angle, and see them with eyes that differ from our own. Putting our ideas to the test ensures that they are good not only for us and people like us, but for our neighbors, friends, family and co-workers. We build our communities together—differences and all—and we should be thankful that there are so many good-hearted people employing people in our cities, working hard at our schools, and paying taxes so we can pay for our shared infrastructures. We all contribute, regardless of our political leanings. Thank you, citizens!
And here’s why you should hug a Republican: we are afraid of each other. Do you hear that?! AFRAID. I’ve heard that sentiment repeated many more times than I can possibly be comfortable with. We’re afraid! We’re afraid of the people that buy milk next to us in the grocery store. We’re afraid of the parents whose kids go to the same school our kids go to. We’re afraid of our neighbors. We’re suspicious of their intentions. We’re fearful of the origin of their beliefs. We’re sure, deep in our bones, that if “they” win, it will mean doom and destruction for “the rest of us.”
To that I say: absolute rubbish. I refuse to be afraid of my fellow citizens, even if their beliefs seem totally wacky to me. I commit to remember that they worry about paying their bills just like I do. I commit to remember that we are united by our humanity…and a secret addiction to Joss Whedon’s television shows. I commit to remember that we all want bright futures, a financially sound country, good health, and another piece of chocolate. We share more than we think. We are more connected than we think. And I LOVE that.
In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.” Yeah. That. And here’s another quote from my friend Kate, who had just the right words last night, “And we go to bed with the same job description we woke up with: take care of each other. Take care, take care, take care. Rest easy friends.”
Bottom line: don’t be assholes to each other. Don’t give people a reason to fear our collective minds and hearts. Go hug a Republican. And maybe, just maybe, next time your side suffers a loss, you’ll get a hug back. And we can keep building this country together.